Don’t Ban Cities and Counties From Setting Higher Minimum Wages

Herald Square, Manhattan, 24th October 2013

Target: Alabama Representative David Faulkner

Goal: Prevent the banning of cities and counties in Alabama from setting higher minimum wages.

Counties and cities could lose the right to set their own minimum wages if a bill that the Alabama Senate is currently debating is passed into law. Alabama does not currently have a minimum wage standard set at the state level, which allows employers to pay workers as low as $7.25 and still remain legally compliant if no other limitations are put in place.

The Republican who proposed the bill insisted that the state needs to maintain a uniform minimum wage and that counties and cities should not be allowed to override Alabama’s compliance with the federal law’s bare minimum. Many people rightly call this hypocrisy as Republicans often complain about federal intervention in state affairs, but then use their state power to interfere in local affairs.

Because federal law requires employers to pay whichever wage rate is higher to employees, all the minimum wage requirements at the local level were put in place to increase, not lower, the minimum wage. For instance, the Birmingham City Council recently voted to increase their minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. This helps employees in the area to improve their standard of living by allowing them to earn a higher income.

Preventing counties and cities from effecting this positive change for the benefit of its residents is not just unfair, but unwise. The House has already passed Faulkner’s bill and it could soon get the approval of the Senate. If this happens, it would then be sent to the governor to be signed into law. Take a stand against this detrimental interference by adding your name to the petition.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Faulkner,

I write this letter to express my great dissatisfaction with the bill you recently proposed to ban counties and cities from setting their own minimum wage. As Alabama does not have a minimum wage and employers must comply with the higher minimum wages set at all times, you have in essence prevented counties and cities from ensuring their locals make higher wages.

This shows a complete disregard for the well-being of the residents of Alabama, especially as the bill was not followed up with a proposal for a minimum wage in Alabama which would satisfy all parties. If the real problem was a uniform minimum wage, then why have you not proposed a better figure for all?

Republicans often criticize the federal government for intervening in state affairs under the power of democratic rule. Yet given the chance, Republicans clearly take the same route as it interferes in initiatives local governments try to put in place. Is there really a difference?

If you truly believe in protecting the freedoms of the American people and truly want to see America be great again, then do not limit the freedom of your cities and counties when they attempt to put better policies in place. To this end, I urge you to reconsider the bill you have proposed and to withdraw it.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: The All-Nite Images

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